Josh Anderson's story is one that all young players who aren't playing Major Junior dream about. One year, he's playing in Junior A, gets scouted, and the next he's playing for a strong team in the OHL Playoffs. But why would a guy who's only generating 0.34 pts/gm in the regular season and 0.28pts/gm in the playoffs be on anyone's draft radar?
|Height:||183 cm / 6'0"||Weight:||82 kg / 181 lbs|
From what I can discern, there's a few reasons. Josh has great family connections. Apparently, Josh is related to both Pete and Frank Mahovlich - his mother Michelle is their cousin. Frank has been giving Josh advice about hockey and the pro path, and has even played some with him during the holidays. So, there's some (damn fine) bloodlines in the mix.
|2010-2011||Burlington Eagles Midget AAA||Midget||-||-||-||-||-|
(Stats courtesy of http://www.eliteprospects.com/.)
The next is how Mr. Anderson has generated his points. He gets 0 minutes of PP time. He gets less icetime than most other forwards on the team - he plays on the 4th line. McKeen's Scouting Director, David Burstyn, had the following to say about players he thought weren't getting the exposure they deserved at the OHL Prospects Blog:
DB - I like a handful of players. Josh Anderson is no longer considered a 'sleeper' after his long playoff run and NHL Central moving him up considerably. However it is important to note that he scored double digit goals on the fourth line with virtually no PP time. He is an interchangeable forward who works incredibly hard on the fore check and uses his size advantageously.
There are a lot more pieces of information about the young man. Yahoo! Sports blogger Neate Sager has an excellent post up about Josh, including this description of him:
"Andy has a tremendous amount of upside," says Knights assistant coach and assistant GM Misha Donskov. "He's improved his skating tremendously over the course of the year. He came in undrafted [out of midget] and really wasn't on anybody's radar screen. He's really come into his own in the last four or five months and he has potential to be a pro. He's a big guy who handles the puck well. He's good on the cycle and can make plays on the rush. He plays with a bit of an edge. He's not afraid out there. Since November, December, he's got a boost of confidence, which is really important. If he keeps going on this trajectory, he'll have a good career as a pro."
There's also a wealth of video information about him on YouTube.
Guys can hold his own here, and does so many times. Could be a decent light or mid-weight warrior at the pro level. Definite potential.
Seems like he's got some skill too. That's a plus.
Scouts have seen him, and like him - he's ranked in the top 60 of Central Scouting's NA skaters - up 70 spots from the mid-term rankings. His profile is up here at Hockey's Future. He's not a guy that everyone likes, but considering his role and point totals, it could be a case of ignoring the player because of the numbers, without considering context.
To summarize: Josh Anderson scores a good number of EV points. His +17 rating (not shown here) means he's outscoring his opponents 2:1 at EV - impressive in any role. He's a willing combatant, and his good work ethic is a plus when considering potential future development. He may be able to do more with better linemates, but its also possible that playing in a depth role gave him better matchups on the opposing team. Hard to be sure. Considering this was his first season in the CHL, its hard to judge what his ceiling could be with several years of higher-level coaching and training. This doesn't account for potential value if he continues to grow, as there have been suggestions he's not done yet.
From what I've seen and read, I like him in the 5th. He's still quite raw, but could be a solid contributor in a bottom 6 role. Not to say that's his ceiling, but that's a likely role at the pro level.
(This article is written as a part of The 2012 NHL Draft and Combine - Fanpost Almanac)